The Sunflower

Low’s ‘unorthodox’ bowling style lands him U20 championship title

Low+began+bowling+at+the+age+of+three.
Low began bowling at the age of three.

Low began bowling at the age of three.

Brian Hayes

Brian Hayes

Low began bowling at the age of three.

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Five hours of working out a day and bowling 45 practice games a week was the recipe for success for the Wichita State junior bowler Wesley Low.

Low has been bowling since the age of three, which is why he developed an “unorthodox” bowling form.

“When I was younger, my dad would sit me in the back in a car seat at the bowling center. At some point he asked me ‘hey would you like to bowl’ and I guess I said yes,” Low said. “In order to join a league you have to get the ball from point a to point b. The only way I could do that being so small was to throw it with two hands.”

Low is a left two-handed bowler. Despite growing up, he didn’t grow out of his bowling form.

“I developed this two handed style with the six pound ball and I just kind of stuck with it when I got bigger even though it was unorthodox and kind of different from normal bowling,” Low said.

Low won the 2017 Junior Gold Championship in the U20 division in early August. He was the champion over 1,400 bowlers.

“You bowl against 1,400 of the best youth bowlers under the age of 20, so that’s overwhelming for the average bowler, but being able to do it for so long it wasn’t as bad,” Low said. “I was a little nervous, there was a little pressure because I wanted to succeed.”

The championship is annual, and Low has competed for seven years, and also won the championship in 2013 at the age of 16.

The tournament, with a total of 3,500 participants, lasted eight days. The first four days were qualifying rounds where they had to bowl 16 games then they cut it to the top one in eight.

After that, the qualifiers bowl five more games and they cut it to the top 64. Then they bowled five more games then split the remaining bowlers in to the top 16 bracket.

In the final 16-person bracket, each bowler bowls to games and the highest combined score wins. Low won 394-357 to win the championship.

“I [get pre-game jitters] all the time; it’s the butterflies,” Low said. “I focus on breathing and I like to listen to music. I have a playlist I like to listen to to get me ready but it also kind of calms me down.”

Besides the pressure of the tournament in general, CBS Sports was also live broadcasting the event. Low had the opportunity to bowl on television while in Hong Kong, but had never previously bowled on television in the states.

“It was a different experience,” Low said. “There was a lot riding on that one event and so those last two games were a lot of pressure.”

Low said focusing and going through his routine and acting like nothing was there was a “big key” to his success in the finals.

Low wishes to get a degree in business before going professional.

“I’d like to finish my education first, that would be the only thing holding me back from going professional right now,” Low said. “My [ultimate bowling goal] would be to make the Bowling Hall of Fame.”

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